Saturday, April 25, 2020

Stay at Home Festival Bonus Film: The Battle of Neretva (1969)

I reviewed THE BATTLE OF NERVETA in 2012.  (My review is here) It is a big huge monstrous production mad by the Yugoslavian government to celebrate a great WW2 victory. It stars Yul Brenner and Franco Nero and others. It was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

It is a film the likes of which could only have been made in Yugoslavia during the time of Tito when the star obsessed leader allowed film companies access to the military. Tito was so in love with the movies that he allowed companies to do crazy things, say blow up a real bridge for the hell of it.  He did so for this film - and ruins of the bride are still sitting the the ravine where they landed acting as a WTF tourist attraction.

I know you have probably never heard of the film, which is understandable since once Yugoslavia broke up all the films the country produced effectively were made orphans. (An explanation in my review here) so hundreds of film are being lost through neglect.

Over the years  THE BATTLE OF NERVETA drifted fell into the hands of all sorts of people who released all sorts of versions of the film with widely varying run times, the longest of which allegedly had a run time of three hours. (An explanation in my review here)

In looking for something else I discovered the film on You Tube. Actually I discovered two different cuts one running 20 minutes shorter than the other

The above version runs two hours and twenty four minutes and is subtitled in English. I'm guessing this is the version you'll be watching

The version above is for those of you who want as complete a version as possible. It runs two hours and forty six minutes however there are no English subtitles. It is in Italian.

I'm not going to lie and say this film is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is over long pure propaganda but it has some of the greatest battle scenes you'll ever see. If you love movies you owe it to yourself to see this film at least once.

No comments:

Post a Comment